And So It Ends, And So It Begins by Ben Jones
May 1 marks the end of this admissions cycle and the beginning of the next.
It’s almost May.
For those of us who are not on the waitlist committee, May 1 (really May 2, since May 1 is a Sunday) marks the end of this admissions cycle and the beginning of the next. From an admissions perspective, it’s time to say farewell to the class of 2009 and hello to the class of 2010.
09’s – whether admitted or rejected, enrolling or otherwise, I sincerely hope that you will keep in touch. It’s been a true pleasure getting to know each of you this year. You are amazing, talented people – and our correspondence has been the highlight of my experience here at MIT. If you’re here in the fall, drop by 3-107 and say hi to us from time to time – our door is almost always open. If you’re not here in the fall, drop us an email and tell us of your adventures.
Class of 2010 – welcome to the MIT Admissions blogging community. We hope that you’ll visit often, ask your questions, share your experiences. Don’t forget to introduce yourselves! We met lots of folks at CPW who were regular readers but who had never commented. If you don’t mind, comment at least once – just to say hi so we know you’re out there.
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Lots has happened since CPW. It’s been a time of catchup and recovery, both mentally and physically. I threw a party on the Saturday following CPW, which most of my colleagues attended. It was fun, crazy, and ridiculous all at the same time. I didn’t know that admissions people could rock that hard… but indeed they can.
We had a lot to celebrate. First, we’re so proud of the class that we admitted. We’re proud of you – for being who you are – and proud of ourselves for finding you. Second, it was a celebration of simply having survived the previous 6 months. It’s not until one looks back that one realizes the extent of what the winter of an admissions cycle can take from a person. You guys undoubtedly know what I’m talking about – now imagine going through it every single year. :-)
The weather at CPW was fantastic. I used to think of the arrival of Spring simply as a symbol that one has survived the winter. This year that feeling was compounded – the arrival of Spring coincided with CPW, a weekend that is (for all intents and purposes) the true end of the cycle for many of us. The whole coincidence just seemed fitting.
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My boss (Lorelle) is leaving MIT to get her PhD. She was one of about 7 people in the world to be accepted into her program (and you thought MIT was hard to get into). I am incredibly proud of her. At the same time, I (and I am not alone) don’t know what I’m going to do without her next year.
It’s sortof like in the movies, when a kid accomplishes a ton of incredible things because his mentor truly believes in him and his potential. And then the mentor is gone (in the movies the mentor usually gets killed instead of leaving to get a doctorate, but work with me here) and the kid has to not only carry on, but become even better – because he owes it to the mentor to do so.
That’s sortof the way it is with Lorelle leaving. I, and Matt, and others will continue to build this thing we’ve been building all year with the blogs and MyMIT and our general attempts to create this community and demystify MIT admissions. But there won’t be a day that I won’t think about the things that Lorelle gave to us that made it all possible.
And if I’m still here in 18 years when she finishes her dissertation, you can bet your sweet bottom that I’ll do my best to get her back here. ;-)
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I was expecting a lull in my workload after CPW, but it hasn’t exactly worked out that way. There are just so many projects that I had to put on the back burner during reading/selection/CPW etc. So what’s on the plate?
First, I’m in the process of setting up an admissions blog server that will be more reliable (and feature-rich) than the one that most of my colleagues currently use. A big goal for the coming year is to expand the blog program further, including the launch of an admissions group blog where guests such as Marilee will be able to post occasionally.
We’ll also be defining some “acceptable posting guidelines” and sharing them with you. Nothing major, don’t worry, but the program is big enough now that we need to start to think about some structure.
Second, I’m creating strict production schedules for every print publication that we produce here and evaluating lead times and deadlines in an effort to make the office more efficient. I’ve purchased an enormous bulletin board on which I plan to attach each piece, in the order in which we send them to you. Perhaps I’ll post a picture when it’s finished. :-)
Third, there is a lot of work to be done on MyMIT. We have hired many of the student editors, and yesterday’s software build hopefully gave me the power to add new portlets by myself instead of having to request them from the tech folks. If that holds true when I test later, you’ll see a bunch of new things early next week.
Fourth, I’m trying to make a plan for the summer as far as MyMIT is concerned. With no classes or student groups in session, what kinds of content would you guys like to see over the summer?
Fifth, it’s time to think about the application for entry year 2006. Which brings me to…
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…my last topic for this post: essays. We often change the essay questions from year to year (1) to improve upon those of previous years and (2) quite simply, to keep things interesting for us. :-)
So – give me your essay question ideas. If we like one of them enough, you might just see it on next year’s app.
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Hope you guys are all doing well and enjoying your last few weeks before summer. Let me know how everything is going!